Empire Roast Chicken a la Jamie Oliver



Picture courtesy of: The Spice of Pfeif

Jamie Oliver is one of my favorite T.V. chefs. I recently watched an episode of his show, Jamie’s Great Britain. He was exploring Indian food around the country and made a dish called Empire Chicken.  It looked so tasty I knew I had to make it too.  It’s basically a classic roast chicken that gets marinated in Indian spices and yogurt overnight, then roasted the next day. My only regret making this recipe was I totally forgot to photograph it before I served it so I had to borrow a picture from another blogger.



  • 1.4 kg whole chicken
  • 1 heaped tablespoon garlic, finely grated
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh red chilli, finely grated
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fresh ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garam masala ( a gift from my cousin Chris in Ottawa)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fresh ground cumin
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of
  • 2 level teaspoons sea salt


Slash the chicken’s legs a few times right down to the bone. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together.  Put on a pair of clean rubber gloves, then massage those flavours over and inside the chicken so it’s smeared everywhere.  Put chicken in roasting pan and marinate overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Stab the lemon a few times with a sharp knife and put it right into the chicken’s cavity.
Place the chicken onto the middle rack in your oven and cook uncovered for 1 hour 20 minutes.  Serve with basmati rice and steamed broccoli.
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I made it for supper when my Aunt and Uncle came over for a visit and it was a big hit with everyone.  It had a slightly spicy kick, hints of ginger, garlic and curry and was very moist and juicy.  The smell while it was cooking was divine too, that alone was worth trying this recipe out.  In my opinion the skin was the best part, all crispy and full of great flavour.  One drawback is the turmeric in the marinade did stain my fingers as I was eating the leg.  (Who eats a chicken leg with a knife and fork anyway? I like to get in there and experience my food!)  That is a small price to pay for such a great dish.  It’s a nice change from the regular roast chicken and I’m sure would make some awesome chicken sandwiches the next day.  I didn’t have any leftover though, so I didn’t get to do this.   Try this recipe out next time you want roast chicken and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

2 responses »

  1. This reminds me of the roast turkey we usually have for Thanksgiving, but without the skin. Having the skin on but slashed so the flavour can get inside, sounds like a yummy way to do it. Must give this a try!!

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